A Los Angeles police officer walks past a sign after the Occupy LA encampment was dismanted outside City Hall in Los Angeles November 30, 2011.
Credits: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Although I recently referred to Occupy participants as "tramps," I would like to amend my statement today and commend the movement. These protesters courageously and honestly attempted to change the planet, reverse the established order and bring social and economic equity.
Kalle Lasn, the instigator of the worldwide movement and co-founder of Vancouver-based magazine Adbusters, considers the operation in his adopted home country, which got hijacked by the "loony left," lacked the energy and passion that characterized rallies in the U.S.
After closely observing the Montreal camp, from its installation in mid-October to its dismantling last weekend, I don't share Lasn's negativism. Quite the contrary, over the last month and a half our "indignants" learned five essential life lessons whose principles are fundamental for the functioning of a free and democratic society:
- The first lesson came out of an incident that occurred at the beginning of the occupancy of Victoria Square in downtown Montreal. Late one night, a protester came back to his tent to discover that two homeless drunks had taken possession of it. When he gently invited them to leave, he got hit in the face. That's when he understood the idea of private property. Lesson No. 1: Down with public property.
- During the protest, organizers of Occupy Montreal collected donations from the public, and kept $10,000 in a tent. One morning, the money had disappeared. Those who were rebelling against great financial thieves learned there was at least one thief among them. They ran to the closest bank to open an account. Lesson No. 2: Banks fulfill an essential function.
- Almost two weeks ago, mass fights erupted in the camp, with some even receiving death threats. Those in charge of the camp had to ask the police to chase the most violent away. Lesson No. 3: Law and order help when you're being pushed around by criminals.
- As meal times came and went, organizers realized that some who came to eat at the "people's kitchen" were not protesters but freeloaders, so they refused to feed those who did not give them a hand. Lesson No. 4: You need to work before you eat.
- When the temperature at night dropped below the freezing point, the elite of the camp left the plebs alone and went to sleep in their warm and comfy homes. Lesson No. 5: The leaders of the left - from the former USSR to the Occupy NoMatterWhere - never practice what they preach.
No "indignant" could have assimilated as many useful lessons in any college or university in such a short period of time. Today's "indignants" will become better citizens tomorrow, more respectful of private property, of banks, of laws and of work, while being smart and suspicious of their union leaders or politicians.
They had to resort to the system they were denouncing to simply manage a public and free campsite. Without wanting to, they finally proved that capitalism is the least bad of all bad systems.
Long live the Occupy movement! Long live the indignants! Long live capitalism!